Is there a word or phrase that means both to "re-create" and "improve"? I would like to say "___ our language", meaning to create a new lingua franca from scratch. The word should imply starting over as well as improving over the current state.

  • I don't see how starting from scratch relates to improvement - it has more to do with replacement. Can you explain? Aug 3, 2015 at 20:05

2 Answers 2


Reinvent might be the word you're looking for.

From Merriam-Webster:

to make as if for the first time something already invented

to make major changes or improvements to (something)

  • I had considered innovate but I like this suggestion much better.
    – J.R.
    Aug 3, 2015 at 20:09
  • You beat my identical answer (same definition and everything) by about 3 minutes. Well done. Note that reinvent used to be a negative term for duplication of effort, but has itself been reinvented. Now it means making such fundamental improvements to something that it's basically a new thing. Aug 3, 2015 at 20:14
  • Mind if I edit that in with attribution?
    – Brandon
    Aug 3, 2015 at 20:50
  • This seems the common marketing term (e.g. check the bookshelves under R): if a company boasts of reinventing X, it isn't intended to mean pointless effort to redo something that's already been done adequately.
    – Stuart F
    Mar 25 at 20:21

Reconstruct or Modify or Modernize


build or form (something) again after it has been damaged or destroyed


make partial or minor changes to (something), typically so as to improve it or to make it less extreme.


adapt (something) to modern needs or habits, typically by installing modern equipment or adopting modern ideas or methods.

(Definitions from Oxford Languages)

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